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topic 12351

Platinum sitting in a drawer


Recently I took a watch (circa 1950) to a gentleman who purchases old watches. He offered me $350. Not because of the small diamond chips in the watch and band, but because of the platinum it contained. He did not perform any kind of chemical test, but merely looked at it. This experience has enlightened me to the value of platinum. I am now trying to find material that will teach me how to identify Platinum. Do you have any suggestions?

Robert A. Schwaerz
- Fairport, New York


If you were a car collector looking to buy a collectible car and you saw an automobile purporting to be a 1959 Corvette, you'd take a quick look at the body, the interior, and the engine, and would probably be quick to decide that it really was a 1959 Corvette. You wouldn't need elaborate tests. Yes, there are spot tests to identify platinum; the Metal Finishing Guidebook has a series of tests to use to distinguish any unknown metal from the others. But I doubt that the collector used any such test, and simply relied on his general knowledge of watches and metals to know that he was looking at platinum.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


Hi Robert, as a suggestion you might visit the website for Johnson and Mathey. They are located in London, England and have an excellent source for all aspects relating to platinum usage, mining sources, and world spot prices. They also publish a quarterly periodical that describes the emerging usages for the entire platinum group metals.

Hope this helps,

David Vinson
Metal Arts Specialties - Leonard, Michigan

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